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Chelsea and home design YouTuber Nick Lewis dish on the worst TikTok trends for home decor, how to make your home timeless, and how to decorate on any budget.

Nick Lewis on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/NickTalksDesign/videos
Nick Lewis website: https://www.nicklewis.ca/

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Hello, everyone, and welcome back to an all new episode of The Financial Confessions.

It's me, your girl, Chelsea Fagan, founder and CEO of The Financial Diet, and person who loves talking about money. Also, incidentally, a person who loves talking about and reading about home decor.

And now, home renovations, given that I am officially finally a homeowner. And all of this stuff that sort of makes the space that we live in beautiful and functional, and a place that we like to be. Something that we've talked kind of a lot about on TFD throughout the years is how creating a space at home that feels good that you want to be in, that reduces your stress level rather than adds to it, that allows you to be productive, that allows you to get good sleep.

All of these things are hugely financial in nature. We often find ourselves wanting to go out and spend money when we don't, frankly, like being at home so much. And for most people, there's going to be some element of home design, decor, organization, renovation, that contributes to a huge part of that.

Often we can treat things that are sort of beauty, or creative, or design in nature as being frivolous, and unnecessary, and something that we should just cut out of our budgets, or that shouldn't really be part of the conversation of personal finance. But as we talked about on our recent interview with Hannah Louise Poston, which I'll link in the description, and the show notes, there is a huge overlap for many people, in the lifestyle choices that you make. And ultimately, the budget that you're living within, and your financial priorities.

It's not realistic for most people to just cut all of this out. Nor is it something that most of us should cut out because ultimately, we have to live somewhere. That's going to impact how we feel, how we spend, and all of the above.

At the end of the day though, for many people, especially more aspirational home decor and home organization are just frankly, not very affordable. And even when things possibly could be, it's hard to know where to shop, what's worth investing in, where you can find pieces, and how to assemble a room, especially when like myself, living in Manhattan, you don't have a ton of space to work with. Although, in some ways, looking back, it might actually be easier because you just don't have so many huge rooms to fill up with furniture.

Something to be considered for that. Either way though, you guys have been heavily requesting my guest today to talk about all of these things, and to make sure that we are addressing this stuff from a budget-friendly perspective. Thanks to Upstart, for supporting this episode of The Financial Confessions.

Upstart is a leading artificial intelligence AI lending platform designed to improve access to affordable credit. Find out how Upstart can lower your monthly payments today when you go to upstart.com/tfc. That guest, with me here today, is interior design YouTuber Nick Lewis.

Hello. Welcome-- Oh my gosh. --to New York City, from Vancouver. I know, thank you.

I'm so excited to be here. I'm a big fan, big fan. Oh, it's so exciting to have you.

Well, I was mentioning in the intro but obviously we were talking a little bit before we started filming, that I wasn't aware of your channel until you were in a live that I did. And you asked a question. And just like, dozens and dozens of people were like, "It's Nick." Yeah.

Well, yeah, because I asked the question of whether or not interior design trends were sustainable. And whether or not YouTubers, specifically myself included, should be called out in that. And I don't think you saw the question.

I didn't. But you saw all the other, "Hey Nick, how's it going?" And I think there's a lot of overlap. My audience definitely requested.

I said I was coming to New York City, and I didn't say I was coming for this. I was like, who should I collaborate with? And everybody was like, "Chelsea, from The Financial Diet." I'm like, joke's on you.

Already doing that. Yeah. So yes, I'm very excited.

It is very exciting. One of the first things I want to talk about is we were talking a little bit before we started recording about the increasing what I would call kind of fast fashionification of home design, interior decor, all of that. Where there are lightning-fast trends.

And there are things that people feel like they need for their home. A lot of-- obviously-- that is driven by social media. But I'm really interested to hear your thoughts, as someone who's been familiar with the industry for a time, and where you think this is headed?

Yeah. I think a lot of it is pandemic-driven. Mhm.

For starters. Right? I think people spend more time in their homes, which is causing them to kind of look around and go oh, you know, this place isn't serving my needs.

It's kind of not attractive. So I need to do something about it. And they went to places like YouTube, and other social media, which, of course, also had a huge boost during the pandemic, to look for inspiration.

That was great for people like me, and my channel. But it was a challenge, I think, because it did mean people wanted to change over their home decor and renovate a lot quicker, which has caused huge implications in terms of the industry for lead times, prices. I mean, everything has just gone crazy in the industry over the last couple of years.

But originally, fast fashion, people, they used to change their outfits fairly regularly. Obviously, right? That's where fast fashion was there, to meet that need.

Of like, OK, you need to change your outfits. You need to change your wardrobe. There's new styles, new trends.

This trend is in. This trend is out. This trend is dead, this trend is amazing.

And all that stuff was moving at a really super-quick pace. H&M and Zara, and all those guys, were there to fit that need. Home decor didn't change over as often.

The reason is, people don't renovate their houses. And they don't change over their houses as quickly as their wardrobes. That was how it always was.

The pandemic changed that because now, it's important to have the good background for those Zoom calls. And it's really important that you're spending-- well, you're spending more time at home. So you're like, well, this place is a bit of a dump.

I need to change it and I need to fix it. So people are changing things over quicker than they used to. And of course, companies, as they tend to do, are there to sort of meet that need.

So it never used to be as quick. Trends used to have more longevity than they do now. Now, I'm seeing a lot more YouTubers than people, you know, in my space, saying this trend is super hot for 2022.

And then, it's now end of June. It's like, OK, now those trends are over. Those trends are done.

We don't want to see that anymore. Some of it was just really stupid stuff, that should never been a trend in the first place, and should probably never have gone into your home. But some of that is just like, I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.

There's just no reason why that thing that you worked hard for, and put in your home at the beginning of January, that we told you to get, is now all of a sudden dead and gone, six months out of the year, right? It used to last years. Now it's lasting months, which is, obviously, not sustainable, and stupid.

No. I talked about this before. I, especially during the pandemic, to your point, I follow some professional interior designers.

And I follow design magazines and things like that. Legit professionals. But I had to stop following influencers whose job was just to be perfect, in this respect.

Well, aside from the undisclosed sponcon of it all, which is a huge problem-- That's a whole 'nother thing. It's a whole 'nother thing. But they're, the influencers, I think especially are really what is often driving those trends and making everything feel really minute to minute.

Also, I think that there's a level of self deception as far as what is realistic, when you're watching what should be, at the end of the day, a "normal person," quote, unquote. Versus at least when you're looking, like when I'm reading an Architectural Digest, which I love to read, I know that I'm looking at a professional thing that is completely out of my price range that is not something. Right.

You're taking inspiration from, as opposed to trying to imitate or copy. But I think the conflation of that has made a lot of people feel like they're constantly on a hamster wheel of what is aspirational. Totally.

Absolutely. Yeah. That was the thing.

You can look at Architectural Digest. They can take you for a tour of Gwyneth Paltrow's home and you can go, OK, it's beautiful. Maybe I can maybe afford the olive tree that she has in her lobby.

And that's about all, that's about it, right? That's it. That's a whole 'nother thing.

You might take some inspiration from that, and I think that can be fine. Although I just did a video last week, specifically about the olive tree because I'm tired of the plant trends. Those need to go.

It's the ficus. And all of a sudden, now, it was the fiddle-leaf fig, which was super popular 2 or 3-- Notoriously difficult to keep alive. 100%. Will definitely die.

But you know, Bobby Berk told you to get one of those a few years back. Now The New York Times, as of a month ago, said the fiddle-leaf fig is dead. Now, what's the new tree?

And I can tell you, it's the Black olive tree because Gwyneth Paltrow has it. Everybody wants the black olive tree. And it's all over Crate & Barrel, and CB2.

And all those guys are they're doing these fake olive trees, and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, plants, in my opinion, are perfectly timeless and not a trend. But anyway yes, back to your point.

Yeah, I think a lot, and you touched on sponcon, which I think is really important because I think what people don't understand, especially kind of in my niche, is that changing our-- it's profitable to change our space. Exactly. People, it's not like, "Oh, Nick must be doing well because he's changed his living room five times in the last year." No.

Well, I don't do that. But other people do do that. I'm not saying that they're bad people.

People need to understand that when they go "Hey guys, I was just really tired of my living room. So I decided to buy all these products on Amazon," I mean or wherever. It's one thing.

Those are affiliate links. Obviously they're making money on that. And people need to be aware of that.

Not only are they making the hit of affiliate links. But they might even be gifted to them. It's not even like you're paying the expense of going to buy the product.

I have people, all the time, that are offering me-- and this isn't a flex, it's just the reality. Of like, "Here's a free couch. Here's a free chair.

Do you want a free dining table?" And I was like, no, I like them. I designed the space, I'm done. My living room is my living room.

It's over. I don't need a new couch, necessarily, right? I don't need one.

So not only is it affiliate links, but it's gifted. Then, of course, there's the other level, which is we'll give you a couch and we'll pay you-- Yes. --which is, of course, another which, I mean, a lot of people are just like, OK, so I'll take the free couch and the $5,000. And then all of a sudden, you can just tell your following, "You know what?

I just really wanted to change my living room." If they wanted to change their living room, maybe you should change your living room. The problem for most people is, they don't get $5,000 and a free couch-- Exactly. --every time they change their living room. Right?

That, and-- for sure. It's also new content. It's also something new to look at.

Yeah. People want the makeover. They want the before and after.

I have a hard and fast rule that I will not do any kind of sponsorship for anything as an individual, only through TFD. Obviously this podcast is sponsored. But it's an ad, through my business, where you know that you are seeing an advertisement that is disclosed and in its context.

But similar to you, I get approached all the time as an individual, for my personal life and accounts by these brands, that will send me expensive [BLEEP].. I'll never take it because, A, I think it's deceptive to the audience. But B, I also think it puts you on such a hamster wheel of needing to then keep doing that, and to live up to that standard, which, I mean, quite frankly, especially when we're talking about certain high-end brands that have reached out, I couldn't afford to do the rest of my apartment at that quality.

So now, am I going to suddenly be aspiring it? Or are the people that follow me going to be aspiring to it, or thinking that that's-- because even if you do disclose it once, I think the problem-- and we have an upcoming video all about the problem of undisclosed sponsored content --even if you disclose it the first time, which often you do because of the FTC stuff, every subsequent photo of your home is full of shit that you were paid to get, or you got for free. No one's the wiser.

Right, yeah. That's what people, I'm not sure everybody fully understands it. It's like, you're paid to move it along quicker.

You're paid to turn it over as an influencer because it's the system in place, where you're selling the old couch on Facebook Marketplace. Right? So there's some money, little bit.

Then you got the affiliate link. You're making money there. You've got the free couch which you then there's another free couch 3 or 4 months down the road.

So you can sell that one. Then you've got the ads that you're placing on the video, because there's content there. Then potentially, if you're really big, you've also got sponsorship of "can I pay you?" Because there's a 60-second ad read that's in your video, right?

And there's ads on AdSense. There's all these different sort of different ways. I don't think people realize the incentive that's there.

What scares me is the audience demands it of us. I'm not saying we're villains and the audience is innocent victims, necessarily. Although there is obviously issues of disclosure.

But the audience demands it. Totally. I had a person that stuck out.

I don't read all of my comments because well, for lots of reasons. Mostly mental health. [LAUGHTER] To be quite honest. Same.

Yeah. A lot of people are like, "No, no, no, I owe it to read every single one." I'm like, "No, no, no, I made the video." I made the video, they commented. That's how this works.

I don't need to go back and go through everything. But anyway, I did read this one. I said about how the pandemic, it was about pandemic trends and how it's changed interior design.

One comment that came through was like, I said the importance of the background. The aesthetics of the background because people were working from home, and whatever. That was a whole new thing.

The interior, getting the home office, that's a trend that has definitely been kickstarted in the last couple of years. Bringing back that home office. It used to be, you could just sit on your laptop at your dinner table, and it was fine.

Two years into this pandemic, where people are working from home, that's not good enough anymore. They're carving out space in their home for an office. I said, so the importance of a background.

This person commented and said, which whatever, people have said worse. But she said, Nick, you said the importance of your background, which I think is really interesting because your space is boring and ugly and it also never changes. For the record, I was not offended by boring and ugly.

Go ahead, feel free to insult. I don't care. It's my house, not yours.

Your house is yours, whatever. I don't care that she thinks it's boring and ugly. But then not, that's never changing, I thought was really interesting because I just thought, she expects?

This is my living room. Right. Why does it change?

I might buy some new things if something fits into what I already have. But to me, I already designed the space. I did the proper space planning.

I bought the right stuff, for the home. Totally. I bought the tulip table, and everything that fit that space.

I did my proper space. I did all the things that I'm supposed to do, that I wanted to do, to make sure that I had proper space planning, there was good movement in the space. That it was cohesive.

That it was everything I wanted. It's done. I don't need to change my living room every 3 months.

I just thought it was interesting that the audience-- I'm sure if there's one of her, there's 10,000-- that think that I should change my background, that my background is a problem because I haven't changed it. I looked at all these other people in my space. I'm not saying anything about them.

I'm not calling them out. But it's like, there's halls, and there's changing, and "Guys, I got really bored of my living room, and my office, and my whatever." And they're constantly moving in their space. It's that, as you said, you called it the hamster wheel.

It's the hamster wheel there too, of just constantly trying to make your space look fresh and interesting for the audience because they're demanding it. I'm like no, it's done. Yeah.

Plus when you combine it with what you were mentioning earlier with the trends, I think about that all the time, when it comes to especially what we share on social media and what people are now making public because for so long, what was in your home was private. It was the people you were inviting into it. Also, I mean listen, even if your space isn't amazing, generally speaking, if you're having guests over, they're not going to just be dragging it.

Yeah. They're going to be nice about it. Also, it's about the way you make them feel and this, that, and the other.

We'll get into creating a space from a more functional perspective. I painted my kitchen cabinets this green color. It's a sage olive, kind of color.

And I didn't realize it was a trend color. But I saw these posts that were like, "I am so sick of this green. This green is so dated now.

It's the new millennial pink, whatever." Right. I was like, I regret existing in a social media sort of ecosystem, that I'm even exposed to that because now it's implanted in my brain. I'm not changing them.

I'll probably paint them once every couple of years, just to have fun. Yeah. But the fact that people now have to and not just influencers, obviously.

Even just individuals now are exposing their personal living space. To people they don't know sometimes, on social media. I think that's part of what makes it so maddening.

Yes. Yeah. And yeah, which is crazy.

Like, I was stopped in the street here in New York. And this person was like, "Oh my god, I love your channel." The first thing I thought was, "That guy has seen my living room in Vancouver." Right? It's weird.

It is weird. We have to acknowledge that it's weird. That's just me, which is obviously on a different scale because I film in my own home.

But everybody's on Instagram. And everybody's on TikTok. Exactly.

Everybody's doing it. Well, most people are anyway, or a lot of people. We are exposing.

I think that is, you talked about the fast fashion earlier, and how that was the thing. It used to be because it was that private space, it didn't really matter very much. It was there for you and your close friends and family.

But now that it is somewhat for public consumption, then there's a certain degree, just like it is with fashion, of keeping up with the Joneses, and keeping up with the new trend. And I'm sorry about the green because I did a "Paint Colors-- Colors of the Year" video, which had a lot of views. And green is the color of the year.

I'm sorry, I did that video. So everybody knows. But I'm OK to have the color of the year.

Yeah, it is. It's good. You're very on trend.

Green is very trendy. Yes. Listen, I'm a redhead.

I have a lot of green in my life. My bike is green. I like green.

But also, I do feel, I want to talk about speaking of these things of the year. So one of the issues that I think is created by the trends and the fast fashion vacation is that it's more and more normalizing this ultra-budget furniture and home decor, which is-- there's the same problems in it as is in fast fashion from an environmental perspective, from a durability perspective, all of that stuff-- arguably, even worse with furniture because you're talking about things that in previous generations would last decades, would be passed down. I have a fair, not a ton, but a fair amount of heirloom stuff from previous.

A lot of it's from my grandmother. Yeah. That used to be the level of quality we were talking about.

And it's sort of chicken or the egg because also, let's be honest the purchasing power is just lower than it was in her generation. Absolutely. But there is this normalization of defaulting to super-ultra-budget stuff, which often will manifest in things like MDF furniture, knockdown furniture.

That's the medium-density? Medium-density fiberboard? Yeah, yeah.

Where it's basically just like crushed up shards with acrylic over it. It used to be a waste. It's a waste material.

Exactly. Really, that is then glued together. That is now glued together.

Yeah, and then formed, yeah. Now they're building enormous amounts of furniture out of that. They're creating this knockdown furniture, which is literally made to never be able to be taken apart and moved.

You just have to literally knock it down. You have plastic on plastic on pla-- it's just not a good approach to furniture from an environmental or durability perspective. But for many people, that can feel like the only option.

Mhm? What is your general advice and sort of ideology, ideology when it comes to where it's OK to go budget? Where to invest?

Where to access the better stuff? What's worth it, what's not? That whole thing.

Yeah. Yeah. I'd love to tell you that there's a secret place that people go to get the highest-quality furniture at the absolute best price.

And there is some great retailers that I love. But yeah, I mean, it's a real challenge because I did a video probably about six months ago or so that bombed, absolutely bombed. But it was fine.

But it was, "You Get What You Pay For." It was actually in response to the dupe culture that exists on social media. That I was tired of. I didn't know how to address it.

To be fair, I just didn't the angle of the video. I think that's probably why it bombed because it's like, how do you find a place to squeeze in this sort of idea? But what I wanted to say to people was the general sort of idea of behind the video was like, you have to figure out what is important to you.

Then, and what do you value? Then make a decision of where you want to buy. I gave a decision of a dining table.

I gave a few different examples of I think a dining table and whatever couches. I gave you a few different options at different price points, based on what you value. Video bombed, it was too technical.

I want to watch it. But it was basically, it was kind of saying people want Restoration Hardware, but they want to pay IKEA prices. Right.

I was trying to say, there are some things that you can absolutely find space to sort of cheap out. And it's fine because the quality is not going to be that different. Like, you can get something like a brass lamp from Article or from IKEA, which is going to be even cheaper.

Wait, is Article on the same level as IKEA? I love Article. No, it's not.

OK. Article, I feel, is nicer. I love Article.

They're based in Vancouver, too. Get out Yeah, just down the street. Continue.

Just down the street from me. I want a tour, but they haven't picked up my calls. Anyway, so you can find ones.

But Restoration Hardware is just ridiculous. Right? You're looking at $695 a lamp.

Yeah, you can find ones for $129, or whatever. But I really just wanted to highlight that at different price points, you are going to get something that's a little bit different that you may not value. Right?

I always use, for example, my personal life. It's like if you buy an apartment, a brand new, in a building, the higher up you go, the more expensive the units get. That's typical because you're going to get the view.

But I'm kind of afraid of heights. So it's stupid for me to overpay for an apartment that's on the 40th floor, when I'm afraid of heights. I don't value that height the way that other people do.

So you're kind of stupid for buying something and overpaying for something that you yourself don't value. So I really wanted to sort of break out what is Restoration Hardware? And why is it so expensive?

And why are other places so expensive? Sometimes it's quality. If you're getting a handcrafted oak table from some artisan who lives your city, which is amazing and that's fantastic.

And they're going to use solid wood and they're going to hand carve it and whatever, great. You get what you pay for. That person's going to be really expensive.

If you're going to something like RH, just know that you're going to be paying for the experience of going to RH. You're going to be paying for that beautiful showroom with the chandeliers all around. You're going to be paying for the service, the staff that's going to do some space planning for you, that's going to whip out a CAD drawing right there and take your floor plan and plan out and map out your space, to make sure that it has the proper clearances and you're buying the right things.

All that stuff costs money. You're paying for the fact that you can say, "Oh, I bought this at RH." That, my condo in the sky example, if you don't value that, then don't spend the premium. No matter what an influencer tells you to do, don't spend that money on that premium for that type of product because it just doesn't matter to you.

Some people really do matter. There's a place I also highlighted, a rug company, called Beni Rugs, that they ship them from Morocco, and they're custom rugs. So you order all your different things of your different pieces.

Not trying to say you should necessarily buy from them, but not sponsored. And you can go, and you can actually take all these. You can customize a rug.

All that stuff takes time. All that stuff takes time. That's going to cost money.

If you care about that, spend the premium. If you don't, then don't worry about it. The other general advice I give to people is, what is the stuff that you touch and use every day?

Mhm. Spend money there. I would say things like couches are worth spending money on.

A bed, a good bed, is worth spending money on. If you're uncomfortable in your bed because you have a spring that's sticking into your back, that is something that you should probably change out, and figure out one that fits you better. Decor, eh, it doesn't really matter all that much.

Right? You can go to Homesense, or Home Goods, and you can find marble decor or trays. I don't love Homesense, Home Goods, that's a whole 'nother story.

But you can find real marble stuff that is $15, that's going to be quality that you are going to be able to hold onto. That's my whole thing when it comes to making some of these purchases, is invest in things that are going to stick around for a long time, that are going to be quality pieces. You mentioned the MDF furniture and all that stuff.

If it feels disposable, it probably is meant to be disposable. And maybe skip it. Maybe skip it.

But that's hard. It's hard to say that when A, I'm in a privileged position of being this sort of influencer in this space. And B, I can't speak to everybody's budget.

People turn around and go, "Oh well, IKEA's garbage." It's like, I get that's where you're coming from. But it's sometimes where people can afford to shop. It speaks to a much bigger problem, which I know you highlight a lot on this channel, which is wages haven't kept up.

It's a hollowing out of that sort of middle class, that has made it really a lot more challenging, of where people are actually expected to shop. I think that's all totally on point. And I will say that one of the limited upsides of this super-trend-based culture mentioned, that someone who's redoing stuff is, that stuff's all going on Facebook Marketplace.

We're in the Golden era of being able to buy secondhand home goods. Truly. Right, yep.

My colleague was just talking about that this morning, because she just moved. She moved from an apartment, into they bought a home. So they have some rooms to fill.

So she was like, "Facebook Marketplace is the shit." It is amazing. Here in the city, obviously we don't have cars. Facebook marketplace is popping here.

But we also have a huge density in New York City, of thrift stores which have usually amazing furniture. I do think that it's always, we always want to be super budget conscious. And I'm glad that you mentioned that, that like, you may be working with an IKEA budget.

But I think it's worth acknowledging that with the secondhand market that we have, you actually can get much higher quality stuff for those same IKEA prices. And I, personally, like one of the biggest shifts that I made over the past several years, and especially now that we own a home and really trying to invest in it is for me anyway, really focusing on the materials because even like you said, even at some of these lower-end stores, you can get all-wood stuff. You can get stuff that's brass.

You can get stuff that's marble. You can get things that are made of high-quality materials, that you can put together, undo, and put together again. Yeah.

When you move. Because have you tried to put together an IKEA bed frame after you've moved? Ooh.

Good luck if that's ever coming back together. No, no, no. That is going to squeak forever.

That is, yes. You've got a squeaky boy on your hands now. Yeah, yeah.

But I do think that no longer have to sort of pick between one or the other, in a lot of cases. Mhm. I will also share a hot tip that I really didn't know was a thing so much, until recently, is floor models you can really negotiate with.

We got a Jonathan Adler-- and I know, I shudder to think of your opinion of Jonathan Adler because I know a lot of interior design people don't like him. He's not my taste, but that's OK. There you go.

But he's funky, and I love the art. Sorry, not to interrupt your story. Please.

But my personal take is, and I say this a lot of my channel is like, my style is not your style. It's hard, because the audience, on one hand, wants me to educate, which is, generally, a little bit more unbiased. But then, they're also like-- which is what I did at the start of my channel.

It was all education. Then sort of people were like, "No, we actually really want you to tell us what you think." Well, you drag stuff. Yeah, What do you like? [LAUGHS] And We want you to drag stuff, which is also-- yeah.

And there's a huge chunk of my audience that just wants me to drag stuff in every single video. But for me-- and that's not really what I want to do. But yeah, there's a little bit of I can appreciate different design that is not my own style.

I say that all the time, I'm not a big fan of traditional design in general. But there's some things I love about it. But I can still appreciate and respect different design styles because that's how it works, right?

You don't have to. Yes. It's like fashion.

I dress how I want to dress, but I still appreciate other people that take different risks and try different things. So Jonathan Adler is an example, I would say, of a designer who is not necessarily my taste. But that's OK, it's about I appreciate the aesthetic and the style.

I mean, listen. From afar. My grandmother, who I think had the best taste of any person who ever lived, was very Hollywood Regency.

A lot of lacquer. A lot of leopard. A lot of statues of giraffes places.

All of the things I've inherited from her are that style, and I love them. But to be fair, Jonathan Adler, he ratchets that aesthetic up to a 10. And I wouldn't want to live with too many pieces of his.

But this one happened to be perfect for the space. But all that is to say, the table was originally like $3,200, $3,400. We got it for over half off because it was the floor model.

It had a few superficial scratches that we easily got out with-- what is that stuff called? It's like, I don't know what it is, to get a scuff out of wood? I don't know.

Anyway, suffice to say, it was the most superficial damage. Yeah. But it's solid mahogany, brass bearings.

It's a really high-quality table. But it did not even occur to me before that moment that not only are floor models in these stores often heavily discounted, you can also negotiate on them because they have to get rid of them. Right.

At the end of season too. I think every planter, which are expensive and stupidly expensive and I don't know why planters are so expensive. But I think every planter I've ever got has been end of season or floor model.

Hell Yeah. Because why? It's going to sit outside.

So if it's dinged in the store, I can tell you it's going to go a lot more dinged on my patio. Exactly. (LAUGHS) Yeah. No kidding.

Also, I mean, at the end of the day, like you said, if you're talking about pieces that you live with and live on every day, it's not going to remain perfect forever. Yeah. Here at TFD, we often talk about the importance of paying down high-interest debt.

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Go to upstart.com/tfc. In terms of obviously we've talked about where to invest and all of that. I'd love to-- before we get to our audience questions, of which there are many-- get your same sort of overall principles and ideology for when it comes to organizing a space and making it functional because I do think that often, when we talk about home decor, we talk about aesthetics.

Yes. But we don't as often talk about what are the thoughts, the questions we should be asking ourselves, the process we should be taking, when it comes to making our home functional? Unfortunately, that's like, we tend to talk about the sexy stuff which is usually the finishes.

That's what people love to talk about. That's, to be fair, what I talk about on my channel a lot because that's sometimes where people go wrong. And it's usually what people click on.

And it's usually what people really care about. But I do weave in some of the other things that really matter. Proper space planning, you can have a beautiful space.

But if people can't function and move around it, eliminating clutter is buying the right-size furniture, which is difficult because when people move, sometimes the living room, which I get which is a huge challenge, which is the living room sofa that was perfect for your old space and all of a sudden it just isn't the right size for your new space, all that stuff tends to be a challenge. But ideally, mapping out the space to make sure that you have proper clearances around. Make sure that everybody has a place to put their glasses.

They have a place to put their cups. You have the right clearances, the right measurements between the edge of the sofa and the coffee table. That your coffee table is the right height, versus your living room sofa.

Making sure that there's enough clearance around your dining room table. If it's a small space, go with a round one because that's better for circulation. If it's a larger space, then you can probably get away with having a rectangle dining table.

It's usually the unsexy stuff, like measurements. And getting tape, and putting it on the floor. And just really taping out your space to make sure that you have the right clearances around everything.

It's usually space planning where things go wrong. I have a thing where I've just started doing this on my channel, where people submit, they go to Roast My Space at nicklewis.ca. Feel free to send me something.

They send me photos and videos of their space. Then I go on my channel. And I give-- I say it's roast, I'm very kind.

Wow. It's not really roasting. I'm very kind.

But I basically take the photos and give them advice. Things I see all the time, first of all, everybody paints their walls white. I'm telling you right now, you have options.

Not me. You have other options, people. You don't have to go with white.

And then space planning. It's the sofa and the chairs pushed up against the wall, without creating an actual conversation area. It's the rug that's too small for the space, right?

And everything is floating, in a weird-- people just do weird things with their space planning. It's like, no you have the room. Think of how you're going to use it.

Think of the basic function. Is it for eating? Is it for living?

Is it for chatting? Is it for watching TV or whatever the case may be? Is it your bedroom?

Make sure you have the right clearances and the right-size furniture that's going to work for your space. Then, and only then, only then, do you start going to the store. Yes.

Do you start looking at Facebook Marketplace. Do you start thinking of what's going to fit in that area. But yeah, taping off the area, making sure you have the right clearances.

Google it. I have videos on measurements on my channel or wherever you can find them. Google them, what is the proper height for a pendant over a dining room table?

What should the clearance be between the bottom of the dining room pendant and the table? Use your best judgment of course, as well. These are just guidelines.

You're referring to a pendant light. A pendant light, sorry. Yes.

What did I say? Pendant, but some people might not know. Oh, there you go.

Pendant light, over top of a dining room table, make sure you have, it's these things. Right. It's these things, that are not sexy.

No one is just like, talking about that. But it's that stuff that feels off. It's that, when you walk into a space, it's that, "Ooh, excuse me as I just like shimmy between your couch and your kitchen, sorry your coffee table, because oopsy, you bought a couch that's too big for your space." That's one of the challenges.

It always starts with space planning. Then you go through and again, it's not sexy, it's not interesting. And it's not what people want to talk about.

People want to talk about, "Yes, I know. But can you show me the prettiest brass and marble that CB2 has come out with this season?" I'm there for that content too. But that's where it all begins, I think.

That's where people go wrong. I feel so validated by this. Not to make this about what I did, but I'm going to do it, it's my show.

We were in escrow, or in contract for like, 120 days on our apartment. Co-ops, that'll do it. Suffice to say, I have journal that I bought.

Page after page, we have some pages that are inspiration pages. But a scale model of every room, where I'm drawing out every piece and then taped out everything, every single thing before. People were making fun of me when I took a picture when I got my keys.

They were like, It looks like a basketball court in there, Right. because there was taped-out everything. Yeah. I was like, I am not buying one [BLEEP] thing, unless I know that it is the perfect measurement-- Yep. --because I'm sorry.

Maybe it's easy for people who live in a home with a car and big doors and whatever to return something. But you try returning a couch in New York City. Yeah, no.

You might as well burn the couch. You might as well. Yeah.

No, when I bought my coffee table, I took cardboard and constructed it, a 3D drawing basically of this coffee table, before making sure that it was the right height and everything because if it's too small, it looks funny. If it looks too big, it's hard to move around, and it looks funny. Totally.

It's, if you look at it interior designer's process, if you were to go hire an interior designer, that's where they would start. Then they would look at inspiration. Of course, they start with you.

What are your goals? What's the mood of your space? All those different things.

Then, they go with a space planning, which-- they use CAD. Or they'll use SketchUp. Or they'll use whatever software, which obviously is too complicated for most homeowners, which is why I recommend taping out-- taping on the floor.

And then what they'll do is then they'll look at inspiration. Then they'll look at what design styles am I looking at here? Like, What do I really like about this?

What do I like about this? Then we go get samples, which is the next step, to make sure that you get samples, if you can. So a lot of retailers, people don't know.

Even the online guys, like Article and Rove Concepts, and whatever, they'll all ship you a little pack of samples that you can go and take a look. Yes, they do. And touch and feel the fabric.

I did a TikTok that has like, 1 million views, where I was like, "Here's a hot tip. Get your samples. If you have pets, rub them on your dog.

Or your kids, feel free. See if it attracts the fur." That was a tip from one of my subscribers, so I can't claim it, even though it's good. You take the thing and you just wipe it on the dog and see if it clings to the fur because you'll be surprised.

Some of it is a magnet to dog fur. And some of it is much better at handling that type of stuff. So really thinking through, going from the space planning, find the right things, picking the right fabrics that are going to work for you.

If you have kids, go with performance fabrics. They've come a long way over the last couple of decades. They're no longer that brown microfibery stuff that was really big in the early 2000s.

Now, you wouldn't know. It just looks like everything else. It just looks like regular fabric.

It's beautiful. And it will resist stains and you can spill whatever on. So like, think of your lifestyle.

Of like, do you have kids? Do you have dogs, pets, blah, blah, blah? How is that all going to work?

And then finding, then selecting. And everybody jumps to the end because that's the sexy stuff. Everybody wants to go to the finishes, right?

Everybody wants to go to the end, and not thinking of the space planning, and not thinking of those different requirements that you need for your space. The sample game is so underrated. So underrated.

It is unbelievable. And we're talking about really high-end brands will send you all kinds of samples. Sometimes you have to pay for them, but often you don't.

And even when you do, it's totally worth it. Yeah. Especially if it's something where you're looking at potentially doing a whole wall and wallpaper.

Or you're getting new flooring, or any of that stuff. Live with the samples for a while. 100%, yes. Flooring and stuff like that is generally, the manufactured stuff is really easy.

But even if you're going to get new countertops in, if you're doing a full renovation, or you're doing a lot with natural stone. You can go to the stoneyard. They'll use usually be a little bit iffy about it because it's hard to-- it's not as easy to crack off a piece of marble from a slab and send it home with you.

But if you're really interested, and you show up maybe a few times, and they know that you really want to work with them, or you're working with a fabricator who obviously has that relationship, get a sample of different natural stones as well. Get all that stuff together. That's what designers do.

Yeah. So approach it the same way, right? It's what kind of mood you want to create in the space, proper space planning, getting your samples, starting to choose your furniture.

Getting inspiration? I didn't realize all this years and years and years ago, but designers absolutely are inspired by other designers and other designs that they see. I think people think designers just cook this stuff up in their head and then it's just like, magic come to life, which, fine.

But they're seeking inspiration. That's why these trends happen because they're looking at Pinterest. Designers are looking at Pinterest.

They're looking at Pinterest. They're looking at Instagram, looking at all the same places as you, to find that stuff, to see that inspiration of what works, and then coming up with something uniquely your own. So massaging, obviously.

They're not just blatant copying. But massaging the design a little bit, taking inspiration from things, images that aren't even design. Right?

Just aesthetic images that you'd find in Vogue, or whatever. Sure. Then, curating something that is more of a mood board or a concept board.

Then finally, now we're moving through the process. Then you can start actually doing your fixed elements, and then doing your furniture and all that stuff. Couldn't agree more.

That's how it goes. Couldn't agree more. So as I mentioned, we have quite a few questions from our audience.

So I'm going to dive right into those. I'm curious what I'm going to get. Are they personal questions?

Like, I have a really difficult, tiny little office in the corner. I don't-- because that's what I usually get, when people ask me questions. We have a fair amount of those.

They have some very specific design questions. I'm like, "Oh my god, I got to imagine." But let's do it. Let's do it.

Yeah. This person is a total budget freak, "DIY? Yay or nay?

Should I risk the time and effort? When and how?" I love that question. We started off strong.

OK. I'm not a big DIY guy, as you know. In fact, I have a series on my channel called "DIYs I Don't Hate" because I don't like DI-- here's my problem.

OK, so my thing with DIYs-- Now, be specific when you're talking about DIY. Yeah. Are you talking about people building furniture?

Could be. What? All the way from, "I built my own table," to check out this, I don't know, wall art that you created yourself, to whatever, "I built a tray out of something." That's usually my problem.

Sometimes my problem with DIYs, talking about what we talked about earlier, is DIYs are sometimes really disposable. And that's what I don't like. I've seen so many DIYs that are like, I mean, I made the joke in the video of like, "Hey, I built my coffee table out of pool noodles." It's like, listen, just 'cause you can doesn't mean you should.

So that's always my problem. Is that is not timeless. And we can have a whole conversation about what is timeless design.

But for me, that is not timeless. That is disposable. (LAUGHS) And that is a waste of pool noodles. To me, that type of stuff, really, it's kind of what we talked about earlier.

People want the look. And they want to do the dupe because that's where they're going to get the effect of-- I pick on Restoration Hardware, but whatever. They're convenient. --they want the RH look, but they don't know how to do it.

Instead they're going to look to YouTube. There's a huge DIY community on YouTube that I am not a part of because I, personally, don't like DIY. But that's the thing, is a lot of it feels disposable.

Now, the DIYs I don't hate, which is what I talk about in this video, is there are some things, I think, that can be fairly timeless and are just clever. Yes. And it's a way of repurposing something that you would maybe throw out and you're able to turn it into something really cool.

So if you genuinely love the end product rather than "it's good enough," then great. OK. I've seen people, I love the DIYs out of concrete, where people are able to create concrete trays.

I've seen people, that take like spray paint, there's a lot you can do with a can of spray paint. Sure is. Is taking old tired hardware and spray-painting it black, is that a DIY?

Sure. But I would say that's a pretty good way. I always recommend that, to get a cohesive look because now you're matching all your different finishes and your space your metals, which is amazing, and great to create cohesion in your space, and you're able to do it in a way that is cheap.

It's a can of spray paint. That stuff I'm really behind. But I've seen people using, I think it's PVC pipes.

And they're able to use it and create this sculptural furniture that's coming out of some of these designers. I'm like, no. Your chair is made out of PVC pipes.

If you're going to be happy with the end result, like you can envision, great. But don't try to dupe something into being good enough when it's made out of something that's not good. That's not timeless.

Yeah. That's where I draw the line. It's hard to define DIY.

I'm certainly not out here building furniture. But my husband is an engineer, by trade. I mean, not by trade.

He works on computers now. But he did go to engineering school? Software or mechanical?

Software, but he had where he went to school, there was training in different disciplines as well. OK. The man can measure.

The man can do geometry. The man is pretty functional with tools. So I do set him to work a fair amount-- Mm-hmm. --because he's very good at anything.

He's very meticulous and we'll find the most efficient way to do things, like applying wallpaper. Right. When I tell you that repainting all that cabinetry and creating, changing some of the facades on it and things like that, it certainly wasn't woodworking level.

But I would have done it in a really [BLEEP] way. Right. But you know, he's very in that way.

I think that's where I like a DIY. Know your own skill level. And be really truthful about that because I'm not.

I'm not. But my dad's an engineer, a mechanical engineer. I did not inherit those genes.

Those did not come to me. And nor do I want to. I'd rather do what I do, which is I guess I'm really reasonably good at it.

And that's how I make money. Then I pay somebody else to do that stuff. 1000%. That's another way to go.

So I would say, dear question asker, is know your own skill level and work with that-- Yes. --because that's another thing. Be truthful and honest about that because Mike and I, my partner, we are not DIYers. So for us, we would rather pay an expert.

Yeah. And have them go do that because that's also awesome. Yeah.

All are OK. But if you can fandangle something on your own and you're going to really love the end product, and you're truly going to love it. It's going to be in your home for a long time and it's not some cheap disposable, like those foam mirrors, which I've also made fun of on my channel, which is those-- have you seen those?

These TikTok, the Gen Zs, I mean, I get it. They don't like the mid-century modern because that's us old millennials. They all want something different.

I get it. But they want to go with the Super crazy kooky postmodern stuff. Some of it's cool.

Some of it is foam mirrors. It's basically this construction foam like that you spray on a mirror. So you buy a cheap mirror.

Then you foam all the outside. Then you paint it pink, blue, green. Usually a sickly pastel color.

Then, it's called a cloud mirror, I think is what it's called. It's a fluffy mirror that is made out of foam. That, to me, is not a DIY that I get behind.

Sorry, was this a lightning-round question period? Because I did not treat it that way. No.

But that sounds horrible. (LAUGHS) Yeah. Listen, I very much am not. Actually, it's funny.

I wore a top that is like the most designy top I own because I was like, I want to celebrate your presence here. Oh, and I just wore a polo. On the topic.

Well, look at that. But 99% of the stuff that I wear and own is very much something that probably would have been wearable 10, 20 years ago, and will probably be wearable in the future. I do think that's even more important with home decor.

Don't buy something that someone can look at and be like, "You did that in 2021." That, nothing says 2021 like a foam mirror. Yeah, agreed. And there is some stuff that just inherently-- the timeless stuff, and that is always a tricky question, because no one has that crystal ball of like what is truly going to be timeless in the future.

As a general rule, if it was great decades ago or thousands of years ago, like arches and things like that, then I would say that they're probably going to stand the test of time. Things like subway tile. A lot of people hate on the subway tile because they think it was a trend in the mid 2010s, and now they're done with it.

I think it's a timeless design. Yeah, I like it. It always looks good.

Listen, I'm not saying it's always the most adventurous choice. But that's the thing with design. Sometimes the most adventurous choices are the ones that are in the moment and will date, which is tricky.

But I think that good design is good design. And a 3-by-6 subway tile is always beautiful. And if a place looks like it's you, and a reflection of your own taste and you're own idiosyncrasies-- Fabulous. --that's always in style.

Yeah. OK. Can you both rant about the farmhouse trend?

I've ranted to no end. Not to me, so get going. I have videos with millions of views of me, ranting.

I actually did a video. I feel like I'm plugging my own videos. Honestly, you don't have to watch them.

Plug away. That's why you're here. (LAUGHS) I did a video on "Fixing Farmhouse," where I attempted to do the impossible, which was, how can one fix farmhouse design? I think for me, what I love about it-- what's tricky about farmhouse is the sense of place.

You don't live in a farmhouse. Well, you might. In which case, go for it.

But if you live in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, you don't live in a farm. Therefore, farmhouse is missing a sense of place. That, I think, is sometimes really a big problem.

Then it has morphed into sort of like mom blog/wine mom culture. It's turned into it's own beast of the cheesy signs and the faux architectural details to make it look like you're in a farm, but you're not. And everything looking crazy distressed.

Like we love Kelly Clarkson, but we do not love that Kelly Clarkson collection from Wayfair, right. MM-hmm. It's a lot of the faux because you're faking that you live in a farmhouse and you don't.

That is, I think, really what's a problem. So I attempted to fix farmhouse by saying stick to authentic things. The thing about farmhouse that I love is that it's actually very accessible.

A lot of people find it's comfortable. It's great to raise kids because it never feels too stuffy. It feels relaxed and comfortable for a lot of people.

It's got that big farmhouse dining room table, which is usually kind of a signature piece in the farmhouse space. That can look really beautiful. Obviously that speaks to a sense of family and belonging.

So it's comfortable for a lot of people, which is now why we've gone from the Joanna Gaines aesthetic to the Studio McGee sort of aesthetic, which is more in line with-- I still feel like it's got it's got a little bit of a farmhouse. Energy. I feel like she lives in Salt Lake City.

So I didn't mean to make that connection. I'm not calling that out. But I feel like it's like I feel like that's morphed into something that's a little bit less cheesy and a little bit more still some of the properties of accessible farmhouse, but not some of the cheesiness and the kitchiness that we've seen.

Your rant. Go. I'm going to go a step further than you.

I'm going to say that I totally agree with your core assessment, which is that you are fundamentally in a space of cheese, at some level because you are trying to create an environment that is fundamentally not the environment that you're in. Absolutely. And I do think that there is-- and it's that faux authenticity of it, that I think never ages well.

And I do think it's very important in general, when you have a space to lean into if you can, the original fixtures. Where are you? Where do you live?

You wouldn't do like coastal decor, Cape Cod decor, in I don't know-- But people do. For the record. Yeah, I guess people do.

But you don't want a bowl of shells in Milwaukee. I mean, maybe they do. They do in the bathroom.

And I hate the coastal bathroom. Well, OK, that's a whole 'nother thing. Yeah.

I do think that it's really the faux authenticity. Yes. And the attempting to create an environment that is fundamentally not the environment you live in.

And also, often, what is so what is so striking and wonderful about farmhouses, both in the US and in other countries, is that you're talking about these heirloom handcrafted pieces. The exposed, the beams on the ceiling. Yes.

The wood, the textures, the materials, the lived-in aspect of it. Yeah. And to have that all created through particleboard and you know, fixtures you got off Amazon, I feel like really does no justice to that aesthetic.

And I predict, because when we look back at the early 2000s, with that faux Tuscan stuff that was absolutely everywhere. And we look at that and are like, yeesh, because nothing is more tacky than trying to make a random house in Hackensack feel like you're at a Tuscan Villa, in a literal sense. Not necessarily taking some cues, but literally trying to recreate that with none of the history or materials or environment.

I think it's going to look just as tacky. Yeah, and that's true. I think also, when we look at the early '10s silvery glam aesthetic, where everything was Chrome, everything was glitter, everything was sequins and rhinestones.

And everything was gray washed. The floors were gray. It was that gray wood, it's just, it was cold and lifeless.

But it was an imitation of a glamorous style. But instead of true glamour, which might involve luxury materials, it was faux luxury materials. Instead of actually getting marble countertops, which obviously people can't really afford and I super get that.

But then, choose a different aesthetic because I can tell you, it's fine if you're going to put-- well, I don't know. Is it fine to put marble contact paper on top of your countertops in order to faux a marble look? I don't think you want to be doing that.

I would argue no. But it's hard because people want the look but they can't get the look. So that's kind of sometimes a challenge.

Yeah, farmhouse is tricky. Even, by the way, which you mentioned about the authenticity I think, was Rae Dunn, who often gets torn apart on social media, even on my channel, which I don't begrudge Rae, for making her bank of money that she's probably got. But she started out making handcrafted ceramics herself.

That's what she got into. She got into being making ceramics and making all these beautiful little handcrafted pieces. Yes, she puts words on them.

Yes, I'm sick of putting words on things. But that was kind of her thing. Then she sold to this Chinese company.

I forget what their name is and that's when they had the idea of Rae Dunn, and putting the words on the mass-produced stuff that's being shipped out of China, and putting it in every, I don't know what store is it here, TJ Maxx? Is that what you guys put it in? Mhm.

Yeah, so Home Goods, or whatever you're going to find it. It's that. That exactly encapsulates what we're talking about, with that faux authenticity.

Of it started out being really beautiful a handcrafted ceramics, that you paid a ceramicist who is really great to make those. And you're like, OK, this is something beautiful that I can take care of for years to come. Instead it's just like, "Hold on, let me go grab the next Rae Dunn dog bowl that says "woof" on the side, because I've got to display that or whatever.

That's now complete. Yeah, it's not what it was supposed to be. 100%. "When ceilings are high, what do you do? Tall stuff?

Short stuff?" That's a very good question. Are they double-height ceilings? Or just 10-foot ceilings?

That's all the information I have, sadly. And that's all you have, yeah. Yes.

I mean, this is why I'm a big fan of wall treatments myself, or painting them interesting colors because sometimes that big blank white wall, people just-- it's a bigger problem of just people don't know what to do with the big white blank wall. Getting a piece of art can work, but that's a really simple answer I would say, look into different wall treatments, can be really great. I love panel moldings.

I love all different sorts of moldings that you can put on a wall. If you're a renter, you can buy renter-friendly ones. People often don't know that.

I didn't know that when I was a renter. That was, when I found that out, I was like, that's amazing. You can use wallpaper.

Some of them are really funky and trendy. Some of them are a little bit more timeless. If you have cabinetry, ideally, I love cabinets that go right to the ceiling.

When you have super-tall ceilings, that might not be possible. Then it's OK to have cropped cabinets, I think. But if you're in the kitchen, that's one of the challenges, is when you have really tall ceilings, is what you do with your cabinetry?

You obviously can't go all the way to the ceilings, otherwise it looks like a library. Or you need a ladder, just to get up there. Yeah.

But yeah, I would say, or just leave it. Or paint your walls an interesting color. I would agree with all that.

Or paint your ceiling a different color. People, the ceiling, the ceilings are the most underutilized surface in interior design. People know what to do with their floors.

It's sort of like, "I think I need a rug." They know what to do with their walls, because they look at that. But they don't realize that design is so often like, it's the rhythm in your space is supposed meant to guide your eye around the room. You're supposed to be looking up and down, left and right.

If you've got nothing on the ceiling, you prevent doing that. So if you can draw people up to those large ceilings and really show them off, that's beautiful. And ideally, if you have windows.

I mean, that's amazing if you have Windows. Love a window. Love windows.

Natural light with tall ceilings? I mean, if you're lucky to have tall ceilings, hopefully you have a window. And chandelier/hanging lighting.

Love it. It draws the eye up. Yeah.

OK. (HUMS) Mm, mm, mm, mm. Yeah, if you have good lighting, that makes all the difference in a space where you're, "What do I do? What do I do?

Do I want, do I not want to paint the ceiling?" That's another way that you can draw the eye up, as you said. Is even a boring space looks beautiful if you put gorgeous lighting in. And it looks so intentional.

Mhm. "Inexpensive ways to make the stuff that I already have feel cohesive/work together?" Yeah, it's tricky because there's no magic wand to make some of that stuff work. That's some of the questions that sometimes are tricky. Again, if you're in love with everything and you don't want everything to change, then that's different.

But assuming that you're open, to me, about creating a cohesive space, is often creating things that are either united in things like color, pattern, texture, design style, whatever. And you sort of have different nods of different things that are tracked throughout the space. If you have a bunch of stuff that is completely of different style, completely of different colors, and then go fix it, that can be tricky.

Then it's about like I said earlier, if you've got metals in your space and they're all different colors, let's say you've got a brass chandelier and your door hardware is chrome. Then you've got all of your furniture. Maybe it has brushed nickel, so it's kind of the same as the chrome, but it's really not.

Then you've got matte black some places, because you had a moment, and then you got some bronze, that can be really tricky because metals are a really great and easy way to sort of unite the space. So if it's possible to swap out some of that hardware, so you can create links between your existing pieces, that goes a long way, I think, to making a space feel cohesive. Right?

Well said. I think that can be fairly easy. Door hardware, cabinet pulls, all that stuff, is a fairly easy way to link some of these things together.

Switch it up. Switch those things up. That can really help.

Again, it gets easier as you uncover and learn about yourself and your own style over time because then you don't just buy things. I know that I did in my early 20s. I just went to the store and was like, "Oh, I really like that." Then I would buy it and I would take it home and I was like, "It just doesn't work with any of the stuff that I got." It's not until that I really take a step back and buy things a little bit more intentionally, on thinking not just about do I like it or not like it, but is it going to fit in this space?

Because I find a lot of stuff that I like, that wouldn't work in my space. It just doesn't feel right for the home that I have. I would say, if you're going to add anything, rather I know the question was, how do you take stuff that I already own?

But if you are thinking of adding or subtracting, think of things really in a way of are they united by design style? Are they united by texture? Or are they united by color?

Color is one of the easiest ways that you can create cohesion in a space, right? You've got here, like your love of little books, or whatever. Oh well, just got this.

You've got different cute little links of color-- Just got this. Well, that's not to judge this. --that are sort of brought together. No, but it's true, right?

It's little things that you can see color is brought together. Metals being brought together, replicated in the space in different areas of the home, that make a space feel like it's connected. I love it.

As a last little quick thing before we say goodbye, do you have one quick tip that is unexpected or counterintuitive, or people might not think of when they're designing a space? Oof. Do I have any quick tips?

As an example for me, and you might disagree with this. But I feel like there always should be one thing that's like not in perfect taste. There should always be one thing that's kind of funky that doesn't perfectly fit in with everything else.

You never want to have everything look really perfect and matching, and it's from a catalog or something. You always want something a little bit like, a little kooky. Maybe something you got while traveling, or something that's a different style or whatever.

You know, that kind of a thing. Yeah, I would say that in regards to that specifically, yeah, I would say finding things that really reflect your personality and bringing that in. I know that feels a little bit cliché, but it's kind of true.

Again, that comes in time of learning your style a little bit more on what you like and what you don't like, and drawing inspiration from others. Then, finding the right pieces that really actually work. People probably buy too much.

We were talking about this earlier. I feel like it's the theme of the whole podcast here. But it's like, people just buy and cycle through.

It's really trying to understand what pieces sort of reflect you. I know for example, gallery walls. People have a hate on for gallery walls right now because they think that they're really cliché and they're a little bit over.

But they are a really great way to add your own-- I know, exactly. But they are a really great way to add your own photos and your own touch. And making your own art.

I mean, I'm not a DIY, as we said. But there's some art that's out there that's actually fairly easy to make yourself. And even if there's a story, it doesn't have to always be something necessarily that you made or whatever.

But even if there's a story around like, finding that particular piece. Like, I was in a certain city or a certain country, or I'm supporting a specific artist. That type of stuff I think is that sense of storytelling in a space, that feels like you're walking into a-- you mentioned your grandmother has the best style that you've ever known.

Well, had. But yes. Had.

But it's because there was a sense of storytelling, I imagine, in that space. For sure. The way just even those little pieces that you described.

So what is your story? And how is that reflected in your space? Because if it feels hollow and empty because you went with the same Scandi-boho, neutral boho look that you've seen all over Instagram, if that's you, great.

But find ways of even mixing that up. Like you said, an unexpected piece here or there. The whole idea of boho originally, by the way, was found objects that you found in your travels.

It was a Bohemian lifestyle, where you find things and then you curate those and bring them into your home and show them off to people because it's part of your adventures and your lifestyle, that you were able to sort of get these pieces all that stuff is kind of missing sometimes in these spaces. So really getting to the core of who you are and what's the story you want to tell? And how is that reflected in your space?

I know that's not very specific. But it's honestly, that and space planning, is-- Those are the big tips. --and cohesion. Yeah.

And creating a cohesive space, where everything works together. Really, those are the big things. Well said.

Well, I knew this would be a delight, and I'm never wrong. So once again, I was correct. Where can people go to find more of what you do?

I am on YouTube. Just search Nick Lewis. Then, you can find me on TikTok.

Are you on TikTok? It's like, a crazy world over there. I'm not.

But TikTok is now my second-biggest thing. It's taken off. I know.

You can find me @nicktalksdesign on TikTok. Then you can also find me on Instagram, @nicktalksdesign, where I usually go to stores and make fun of stuff that I see at different retailers, and post on my Instagram stories. So yeah, that's where you can find me.

Well, it's been a pleasure. And thank you guys, so much, for being here. And we will see you next Monday, on an all-new episode of The Financial Confessions.

Goodbye, everyone. Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]